Scientists at Durham University are using a £950,000 NERC grant to find out when and where dogs first became domesticated. They are examining bones of wolves and dogs.
The earliest conclusive evidence showed dogs have been pets for about 14,000 years, but theories now suggest it could have been for as long as 35,000 years.
"Just about everything associated with domestication is really about the beginnings of farming. Except dogs.
"Dogs were domesticated by hunter-gatherers at least 3,000-5,000 years before agriculture and possibly tens of thousands of years earlier."
The three year project starts in October.
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Middlesbrough have slipped from 1st to 3rd in the Championship today.
Kerrie brings you Saturday night's forecast
Mostly fine and dry with sunny spells for the rest of Saturday. Cloudier, cooler with the risk of rain/drizzle into Sunday